The Sound of Silence

Having been indoors for a few days I was looking forward to getting out. The previous few days had been nice, early-Spring days – warm and sunny in the sun, but a bit chillier in the shade. But come my day for getting out the inevitable happened: rain!

And that worst kind of rain as well – drizzle.

But I decided not to let it beat me. I knew if I stayed in I’d feel frustrated and listless. So I went out anyway!

I had no real plans, just out for a stroll, or maybe find a decent sit spot. In the end I had a fantastic day. Not because anything really special happened, not because I achieved things. But because…well, because I found a nice place to sit awhile and, although it was raining it wasn’t cold, and I managed to get in some quality ‘think’ time.

I went to some local woods. I set off through an area of sweet chestnut coppice and came to a patch of pine woods. The colours were amazing – bright, vivid, greens. The acidity of the pine needles mean you don’t get so much undergrowth in coniferous woods, just lots of moss and bracken.

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I got a tarp up and made myself home – collecting some fallen logs to make a seat and table. I had a gas stove with me, some sandwiches, a honeycomb Yorkie (!), and a free afternoon!

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The rain came and went. The sound of the rain tapping against the tarp was a calm and soothing sound – the unwelcome weather outside, but I was there warm and dry and having a peaceful time with a mug of hot chocolate. When the rain abated the birds would come out; they kept out of sight, but their songs echoed throughout the wood. So, with the sound of the birds calling, I decided to do a bit of whittling, and carved myself a songbird, listening to the rain, the birds, the gentle breeze, the joy of having nothing better to do.

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Unfortunately I had to be elsewhere at a set time and, with that time approaching, I packed up my stuff and made my way back to the path that led to the carpark. On the way back I decided to leave the bird I had carved atop one of the signposts.

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I wonder how long it will stay there.*

In many ways it was an unremarkable day; just a stroll in the woods and an hour or two beneath a tarp doing a bit of carving. But somehow it was the absolute right thing to do on that day. The place I found to stop was so enchanting and beautiful, so evocative of woodland spirits. And so peaceful and quiet except for the welcome sound of the birds, and even the odd puttering of a light aircraft from a nearby airfield seemed entirely apt. Ahh…I’m being a silly sentimental fool now.

*(13 March 2013) Not long, as it happens. I went past there today and it was gone; less than a week after leaving it.

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